The Nutcracker retold by Shobhna Patel (Thames & Hudson)

We’ve had the pleasure of seeing some exquisite paper-cut picture books recently and this is no exception.

Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet ‘The Nutcracker‘ has been retold in a most alluringly theatrical pop-up production which will delight audiences of all ages.

The laser-cut pop-ups are utterly enchanting and the minute details in each spread have to be seen to be believed.

Shobhna Patel has incorporated a new paper engineering technique called the ‘paperscope’ and we have tried to illustrate the delicate but powerful storytelling in each of these pop-out spreads in our pictures.

The story is set on Christmas Eve in Clara and Fritz’s household.

Their mysterious uncle (a toymaker) presents them with a wooden nutcracker who magically comes to life when the clock strikes midnight.

And so begins the beguiling tale featuring Tchaikovsky’s original characters: the soldier, Sugar Plum Fairy, the Land of Sweets and not forgetting the handsome prince.

This would make the most beautiful gift for book lovers and ballet lovers everywhere.

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